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    Last week:


    • Last week was a tiny bit stressful, but everything to delivered on time for soft launch today
    • At our weekly report emails I got to talk in broad strokes about Touhou music, so that was quite nice. One of the bosses actually asked for a playlist on that haha. (We do company-wide update emails, I do my report and then take big liberties with what I talk about of interest that week. I often share music and other interests.)


    • Continued reading bits and bobs of The Pragmatic Programmer. Watched a couple tech talks I think. Plenty of Joe Rogan and other podcasts
    • More game dev stuff, though not as much as would be ideal to make real progress
    • Relaunched my website! https://greduan.com Hopefully a blog post about it soon

    This week I’m not too sure, but:

    • Fixing kinks after the soft launch, improving documentation and fixing other bugs, and then expanding functionality
    • I hope more game dev (get acquainted with OpenGL itself)
    • More work on my project RoarSS, just a tiny RSS web client. Of course I’ll share when I do put it out somewhere.
    1. 2

      What stack/languages are you using for RoarSS?

      1. 4

        Much to the dismay of some, a Node.js server. Very simple and basic though.

        Using Koa for HTTP handling and good olde Handlebars for the template rendering. Using a home-made rendering function assigned to Koa’s ctx object.

        Right now, actually, I can already give it feeds and look at them, but it fetches the links live (no DB) and it doesn’t fetch the feed’s content, it just shares a link to the original post (a way which I personally prefer).

    1. 3

      Last week on work was good, at least the later half.

      This weekend was nice, watched a bunch of talks, read a bunch of stuff in my backlog, and worked a bit on my minimalist RSS project (in both functionality and style), maybe in some weeks I can share that here when it’s functional like I want it.

      Looks like another busy week this week, end-of-sprint week and we’ve got another release going soon. I’ve no particular plans for side-projects, maybe some game dev and the RSS project.

      1. 3

        Certainly a perspective I hadn’t thought of. Working less hours sort of forces you to be more thoughtful about your work, interesting perspective.

        1. 6

          Why do we use paper in 2018? The children’s books from my childhood promised that stuff would be gone by the year 2000 :(

          1. 9

            At this point paper seems far more durable for the long term than digital.

            1. 4

              Anecdotally, I have heard this same sentiment from professional archivists as well. We’re pretty good at preserving paper over time.

              1. 2

                If there was something I really wanted to survive past my lifetime I would use a lazer printer, with acid-free paper, and have it laminated in plastic.

            2. 7

              Digital is just not as quick and flexible as paper.

              Think about it. You print something on paper, you want to highlight, just do it, you want to correct it, just write over it, you want to give someone your highlighted and corrected version, just photocopy/scan it.

              You want to write something down, grab a pen, pencil, heck even something that’s pointy enough to make an indent on the paper, and just do it. No need to press a button to turn it on. No need to keep a battery around. etc.

              Closest thing I’ve seen to paper using digital are these nice things called reMarkable, which are nowhere near affordable compared to paper (or a phone/laptop for that matter). Honestly I would consider buying one if they were 50$ lol

              1. 2

                I have a reMarkable. It seems to me that and iPad with an Apple Pencil would work better.

              2. 5

                Because not everyone does digital, not everyone does backups and the kids of today know more about how to take pics for Tinder than organize their data.

                I’m just happy the need for paper has diminished. That’s plenty and we’ll never lose the need altogether anyway.

                1. 4

                  because industry has not provided a suitable alternative.

                  still waiting on an e-ink device which can run linux and has an sd card slot, replaceable battery, and usb port. an e-ink laptop or even just a monitor would be good too, but alas.

                  1. 4

                    Because every suitable alternative is shackled and hobbled by DRM.

                    1. 3

                      You can read, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls, or a copy of a Chinese text written on mulberry paper from 2,300 years ago. Does anybody really think that our descendants will be reading information off of Zip drives or Memory Sticks in 50 years, let alone 500?

                      Paper is an amazingly great technology and it’s uses have yet to be obsoleted by digital technologies.

                      1. 2

                        Not just Zip drives and such. CD-R was supposed to be quite good, but I’ve lost my only copies of some nostalgic and personal data from only 20 years ago, because the fuck it is. Instead I do have drawings from when I was four.

                        Anyone know if the M-Disc is any good?

                        But even then, paper can’t really be replaced, though maybe digital copies could make decent backups if there is proper tech for it.

                      2. 1

                        While paper uses within (Western) offices has probably declined a lot, and there’s less demand for newspapers, there’s still a lot of printing going on - whether on advertising flyers, billboards, decals for vehicles, photographic prints on metal or glass… and paper is used as a substrate a lot.

                        Wood pulp and paper products is still one of the staple export industries of Sweden and Finland.

                        1. 1

                          I have it on fairly good authority Nordic paper isn’t as good as bamboo paper, except that it’s here already.

                          Cardboard is the next big thing, that can’t be made from bamboo as well and people order more and more online.

                          1. 2

                            I believe you’re right, the little I’ve gleaned from my readings is that cardboard production (including the fancy kind used by electronics manufacturers in their packaging) is an big part of the industry here in Sweden now.

                      1. 4
                        1. 2

                          That Pannencoek video is impressive. I know games are broken, and I understand how the LoZ: OoT record got reduced to what it is now by glitches and clever manipulation of hitboxes, map loading techniques etc. But that Pannencoek stuff is on another level. He had to sit there, and plan it, and try it, and rinse and repeat, until it worked, and then he can claim a “0.5x A presses” run. Crazy shit. lol

                        1. 5

                          It looks cute, but I can’t imagine playing games with that. I can feel my hands getting cramped just looking at that demo video.

                          1. 2

                            I’m more worried about my fingers hurting from the tiny friction, with the PS1 I remember my fingers hurting from the D pad. I’m not sure if my eyesight will be able to appreciate all the magic either.

                            1. 1

                              Their OLED display is native “96 x 64 px, cropped to 5:4 ratio”, so actual display area is 80x64 pixels. The Game Boy LCD resolution was 160×144. So if the picture seems blurry and cramped, it’s not just your eyesight. I’m sure it’s fine for Tetris, though.

                          1. 4


                            • We released first alpha last Friday. It all went well except that it was supposed to be done on Thursday.
                            • This sprint will be all about refactoring, fixing pressing bugs, adding pressing features (light stuff).


                            Game development and more game development! Been spending around 1 hour or so doing game dev. Some day I’ll have a game. I’m going through the incredibly inefficient rule of writing my own game engine. I’m doing this with Java+LWJGL. I don’t know either of those. So this should continue to be fun for several months lol

                            Also I’m reading The Pragmatic Programmer, couple pages a day or so, just in the ocassional downtime.

                            1. 3

                              In terms of work, work is progressing smoothly, hopefully this week we can meet internal deadline to release alpha version.

                              In terms of side-projects, I’m learning game development. Currently doing that in Java (I’m a JS dev), and I’m doing the hard route of learning to make a game with LWJGL directly, with no framework. If by the end of this week I can display a sprite on the screen which reacts to my keyboard, that’s good progress I figure.

                              1. 11

                                Isn’t the situation fundamentally different?

                                IE6 had huge marketshare (90% if I’m not mistaken) but abused it by not following standards, forcing people to write their websites for IE6, which meant other browsers had to conform with IE6, which meant users didn’t have to switch away.

                                Chrome now has majority marketshare (around 60%), but they’re following standards. Sure, they keep pushing new standards and introducing their own, but they are standards.

                                Nonetheless, I agree that Google should not abuse its power.

                                From what I can tell, they keep pushing new web standards, which means devs have new tools that they want to use, which are only available on Chrome, so users switch to Chrome because they see more and more of these websites. I tend to ignore websites that say “Chrome only”.

                                Personally I use Chrome, as a developer, for two simple reasons:

                                • I can inspect Node.js processes by running Node.js with --debug/--debug-brk and going in Chrome to chrome://inspect
                                • I have an easy-to-use Profiles feature, which means I can have a work browser, personal browser, etc. I have different histories, bookmarks, etc. Firefox is not up-to-par here.

                                Those two features are all I need to switch to Firefox fully. I dislike Google. I appreciate Mozilla.

                                1. 2

                                  I intend to work on my personal finances application, which will basically be a software version of the system I have setup right now with a whiteboard. The only idea of this software is to be able to keep track of where your money is at right now, no advanced features like budgeting or so, because I don’t need to do that extensively.

                                  I may, but I’m not sure, work on an extension for Chrom(e|ium) to be able to have calendar-like features in Workflowy. It’s an idea I had while I read Getting Things Done. When I’m done with that book if I think it’s a good idea I’ll do it.

                                  1. 2
                                    • Getting Things Done
                                    • The Clean Coder
                                    • The Culture Map
                                    • Pragmatic Programmer
                                    • Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change: Embracing Change
                                    • Clean Architecture: A Craftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design
                                    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
                                    • Working Effectively with Legacy Code
                                    • The Software Craftsman: Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride

                                    Can you tell that I just got the chance to actually buy books and I’m just buying the ones I’ve been eyeing for a while? lol

                                    1. 21

                                      After reading some of Alan Kay’s comments on media (in a broad sense), I went with some instantly actionable resolutions: quit Netflix, quit Facebook, stop reading the timeline on Twitter, block some distracting web sites.

                                      It’s partly to facilitate my goal of creating more time for undistracted work and reading, partly because I got tired of being manipulated into being a media consumer, and partly because I need to set an unambiguous example for my daughter - if I don’t want her to get sucked into this stuff, then I shouldn’t be either.

                                      1. 4

                                        Do it. After a month you feel super weird and you realise that despite not being connected to the fire hose the world carries on.

                                        Also, it makes you appreciate the things you do give your time to a lot more when you do, like a new movie, etc… I was starting to just not be excited by anything anymore because I could just watch whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Now when I see a movie coming out I really want to see I actually feel really excited about it. You become more selective. Nowadays I honestly only look at doc web sites, lobste.rs, and occasionally hacker news and the reddit home page. There’s nothing else I consciously open in a browser. You become more invested in the things you do decide to give your time to. You also lose the whole incessant feeling like you’re not keeping up with everything pretty quickly.

                                        I don’t think I’ll ever go back as it’s been over a year now.

                                        1. 1

                                          This is the sort of results I’d like to get. The never-ending torrent of information and content created negative feelings for me, in addition to being a time sink.

                                          This actually carries over into the real world as well in the form of too many consumer choices. Luckily, where I live (New Zealand) the choices are limited, and I’m often grateful for that.

                                        2. 3

                                          A book I recommend along these lines is definitely Deep Work by Cal Newport. Highly recommended.

                                          1. 1

                                            Thanks, I’m going to read it.

                                          2. 2

                                            because I need to set an unambiguous example for my daughter

                                            I don’t think it would work as simple as that. You daughter is going to be exposed and sucked in. Given that it takes conscious effort and discipline to go against the natural tendency to fall for the infinite-scroll, just seeing your dad not doing it won’t be enough. It’s still better than seeing your dad doing it, though.

                                            1. 2

                                              I totally agree, and the point is for me to have a leg to stand on with regards to enforcing boundaries. It’s much easier to point out that mum & dad don’t do it either than to create some sort of justification for why we can do it and she can’t.

                                            2. 2

                                              Good luck! Mind sharing links to some of those comments?

                                              1. 2

                                                It’s a bit hard to point to a specific comment. He touches on it in this interview: https://www.fastcompany.com/40435064/what-alan-kay-thinks-about-the-iphone-and-technology-now

                                                He also made some comments in HN discussions:

                                                https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15269014 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11944999 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11945066

                                                I wouldn’t say that these comments changed my perspective, but rather that they nudged me when I had some time to think about how I want to spend my time, which made me make the little bit of effort to ditch social media and Netflix. The point is, I’m not sure that Kay’s comments are the best source of information if you want to understand the manipulative nature of modern media (although I’m not sure what other sources to recommend).

                                              2. 2

                                                I quit facebook and other centralised social media a few months ago. I use mastodon and have been pretty happy with the level of discourse and interaction. Though it can still be distracting.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Distraction is the primary concern with regards to media for me, so I think I have to stay away from Mastodon too. I enjoy thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions which are not biased towards quick responses, but I haven’t really found any online media that facilitate this sort of interaction (other than email).

                                              1. 1
                                                • Actually starting and finishing side-projects
                                                • Moving whole nuclear family to Switzerland, already in progress
                                                • Quit social media, Facebook is done, Twitter underway, Reddit is a tough one but underway
                                                1. 1

                                                  Work on a bunch of side projects, sad to say none of them amount to anything at the moment. New year’s resolution is to change that and actually release a project or two this year.

                                                  Got my reading game on, buying a bunch of books in the last quarter of the year and reading a couple. Deep Work, half of Clean Code (almost to the bit where they rewrite stuff “correctly”), The Leprechauns of Software Engineering, and now reading Getting Things Done.

                                                  Moved to Switzerland from Amsterdam, after previous year having moved to Amsterdam from Mexico. Plan to stay here a while.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Now reading Getting Things Done. Heard good things about it. Should be able to get good tips from it.

                                                    1. 6

                                                      Along the lines of The Leprechauns of Software Engineering it seems, very good.

                                                      I especially like the static languages thing, a point that keeps getting repeated but in my experience even in dynamic langs (JS) I never had much trouble that types would’ve avoided.

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                                                        Is anybody else getting tired of this guy? It seems like he gets a pass for being an asshole because he’s been an asshole for longer than people have cared about being an asshole. This behaviour would violate the code of conduct of any sensible project.

                                                        1. 20

                                                          Yeah you can be direct without being a dick. “I won’t merge something that breaks the kernel, please find some other way.” would have worked just fine.

                                                          1. 18

                                                            And in fact, that’s how it works most of the time.

                                                            Linus’ reputation as an asshole is due, in part, to selection bias, and the high profile of Linux. Thousands and thousands of merges go into the kernel all the time without a problem, and without Linus going off on a rant.

                                                            I don’t work on the kernel, but my observation has been that the big blow ups seem to only come after people repeatedly break the rules. I won’t say Linus handles it well, but I don’t think he’s as bad as some maintainers in some smaller open source communities.

                                                            1. 6

                                                              It’s survivor bias, not selection bias. He also owes a lot of it to businesses that got his kernel out there plus make up a lot of contributions. It’s not as if him being an asshole combined with some FOSS contributors that loved that asshole equals success of Linux.

                                                              1. 6

                                                                Not that it makes a difference, but I believe I was correct in calling it selection bias. Nobody will post to Lobste.rs or write an article when Linus is being nice, so in general people only see the bitchy posts, hence the bad reputation.

                                                                1. 7

                                                                  I don’t think that’s strictly true.

                                                                  I think there are a few salient points here:

                                                                  • If you just go by his posts that make it to lobste.rs/hacker news/reddit, you’ll get an extremely skewed view of Linus’s attitude. The vast majority of his communications are somewhere between polite and blunt. (Remember, his job basically entails reading and writing emails all day every day, and he writes something social-media worthy at most monthly.) To the best of my knowledge, he’s never exploded at a kernel newbie, only at long-time kernel hackers.
                                                                  • That said, his attitude is still incredibly problematic. It’s been demonstrated to drive away talented developers. It drives away new developers, even if they are not themselves directly getting yelled at by Linus.
                                                                  • Linux’s success is a complicated beast dependent on a whole host of factors, including to varying extents all of good timing (a few years later and BSD would have made it through its legal troubles), technical talent, corporate support, sheer dumb luck. Linus’s attitude certainly had an impact, but where it slots in that long list is impossible to say; I think it was a negative factor and thus, based on Linux’s evident success, had a relatively low impact, but obviously that’s pure speculation.
                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Even adding in that first bullet from you and jlarocco, I think I still agree with about everything you said. It’s consistent with my position that he goes too far with the bad stuff.

                                                                2. 5

                                                                  I have never ever behaved this way to my colleagues, and I suspect you haven’t either. So to call it selection bias is to ignore that he’s doing something that the vast majority of us would be fired for. It’s not okay to rarely shout down your coworkers. Sure it’s better to do it rarely than every single day, but the fact that we keep examples of this is a clear example that he has no checks and balances.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    And generally these are people who have a corporate position that makes them believe they are entitled to break the rules.

                                                                3. 45

                                                                  The only thing I’m getting tired of is people pulling the odd email out of thousands and wringing hands over how mean Old Man Linus is.

                                                                  Maybe folks should reflect on how, after 25 years of loud and blatant protestations by Linus, fucking morons keep trying to merge the same types of userspace breaking bugs.

                                                                  Maybe, sometimes, a broader more accepting tent isn’t the answer.

                                                                  1. 27

                                                                    If Linus being famously mean for 25 years hasn’t produced a productive culture, perhaps it’s time to try a new approach.

                                                                    1. 26

                                                                      But it has produced a plenty productive culture - a culture that produces a better end product than many more professional environments, in fact.

                                                                      1. 5

                                                                        Professionally “rewarding”, still toxic at the personal end. It’s mentioned in this article mentioned at the main link.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          Professionally “rewarding”, still toxic at the personal end. It’s mentioned in this article mentioned at the main link.

                                                                          And little of value was lost. This is how Sarah Sharp tried to publicly humiliate the guy with a wife and daughter - https://lwn.net/Articles/559077/ :

                                                                          *Snort*. Perhaps we haven’t interacted very often, but I have never seen you be nice in person at KS. Well, there was that one time you came to me and very quietly explained you had a problem with your USB 3.0 ports, but you came off as “scared to talk to a girl kernel developer” more than “I’m trying to be polite”.

                                                                          I disagree with labelling things and people as “toxic” in general, but I’ll choose Linus over Sarah any day: https://linux.slashdot.org/story/15/10/05/2031247/linux-kernel-dev-sarah-sharp-quits-citing-brutal-communications-style

                                                                          1. 12

                                                                            Did we read the same mail? Did you read any of the quoted parts from Linus? A guy that refuses to even consider treating people with respect is a clear-cut asshole. I’d much rather work with someone that talks about treating people with dignity than someone that refuses to consider the concept seriously.

                                                                            1. [Comment from banned user removed]

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                                                                                You got it backward. Linus is the special snowflake here if he can continue to be that unnecessarily-abusive publicly with no consequences just because his work just happened to get popular in that way. Expecting people to deliver constructive criticism or not chase away good talent is the default for those managing good teams in most places. A manager/leaser simply getting off on abusing those doing work is adding nothing of value to the project in doing so.

                                                                                Instead of a snowflake, people just expect to be treated with decency by default with shitflakes like Linus able to get away with being exceptional jerks.

                                                                                1. [Comment from banned user removed]

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                                                                                    That would be a good trait if he had it. Instead, he’s still pushing monoliths in unsafe languages with limited metaprogramming. Took forever to get it reliable versus Minix 3’s a few developers in a few years. So much for his decisions being merit-based. ;)

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      he’s still pushing monoliths in unsafe languages with limited metaprogramming

                                                                                      Linux is modular.

                                                                                      There was no serious alternative to C back in 1991 and, as much as I love metaprogramming, it increases the amount of surprises for the programmer.

                                                                                      Took forever to get it reliable versus Minix 3’s a few developers in a few years.

                                                                                      It’s easy to be reliable when your biggest deployment is on Intel’s spy chip.

                                                                                      Minix was little more than an emulator pet for a few CS students, before that. Low on drivers, low on performance, low on functionality. You might as well compare Linux with L4…

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        It’s modular in kernel mode for full compromise and crash potential. There were a bunch of memory-safe languages used in other OS’s before 1991, esp from Wirth, whose safety could be selectively disabled. Worst case compile them to C to leverage compilers while dodging programmer-related problems like some projects did.

                                                                                        “It’s easy to be reliable when your biggest deployment is on Intel’s spy chip.”

                                                                                        DOD is one of Red Hat’s biggest customers and sources of funding for contributions to Linux. Lots of kernel bugs were also found by analysis and testing tools from CompSci similarly funded by US-government. I agree that helps but a company just freeloaded off Minix 3. Should’ve went with GPL.

                                                                                        “Minix was little more than an emulator pet for a few CS students, before that. Low on drivers, low on performance, low on functionality. “

                                                                                        You should’ve seen the first Linux. It was similar but crashed more. Meanwhile, several years earlier than 1991, QNX folks were building a microkernel-based UNIX that became reliable as hell, fast, and deterministic. The Playbook versus iPad comparisons were the first I got to see with multimedia after BeOS. In both, the multithreading without stalling abilities were mindboggling versus the better-funded, older competition. My Linux systems can still come to a crawl over misbehaved applications to this day. Things that the others made highly unlikely with better architecture.

                                                                                        You’re arguments were who used it and features that came with labor put in. Either one of those put into better architecture would’ve made an even better Linux. So, they’re neutral points. Mine was Linus wouldn’t listen anyway. If you believed him in Linus vs Tannenbaum, things like the Playbook w/ QNX and BeOS would’ve been impossible to program easily or perform well. Way wrong cuz he’s about politics and arbitrary preferences as much as merit. Like most developers.

                                                                      2. 18

                                                                        It has, though?

                                                                        What I meant was that newcomers seem to be ignoring 25 years of norms and others being surprised when those newcomers–who are doing dumb things–are told to knock it off.

                                                                        1. 6

                                                                          Yeah, With “productive”, which seems to have been a really poor word choice, I meant one that didn’t have to teach the same thing over and over in the way you described. Sorry to you and the other responders for the confusion.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Thanks for the clarification, and agreed.

                                                                        2. 13

                                                                          Linux is the most successful, widespread operating system kernel of all time. You can say the man’s rude, but you can’t say the results demonstrate unproductivity.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            The others from Microsoft, Apple, and IBM also were driven by assholes who were greedy on top of it. Just throwing that in there even though Im anti-Linus in this debate.

                                                                        3. 21

                                                                          There’s honestly no good reason to be hostile. It doesn’t actually help reduce the problem, evidenced by the fact that what he has done hasn’t worked. Instead they need processes for check in, code reviews, and linters. Linus should be delegating more as well if this is bothering him so much.

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            That’s not a theory supported by the evidence.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              What he’s done hasn’t worked. Most contributions are from businesses. Many good talent say they avoid it. That seems to be evidence of something. Meanwhile, the Rust crowd managed to get piles of people early on for one of the hardest-to-learn languages I’ve seen in a while. They used the opposite approach. Now, two projects or even ten aren’t a lot of datapoints for an empirical assessment of which method is working. Oh, what can we do to see how much or how little damage Linus is doing to kernel in terms of lost contributions?

                                                                              Oh wait, it turns out researchers in universities have been doing both observational studies and surveys on large numbers of organizations and people for decades covering this very thing. A key question was which management styles have most positive impact. One thing that’s pretty consistent in the research is that people working for assholes were much more likely to half-ass their work on purpose, dodge doing work, or even sabotage that person where possible. People working for those that treated them with respect or constructive criticism did better work. That kept being a result of most studies. Crazy to ignore decades of consistency in human behavior when trying to decide how best to treat them in a FOSS project for achieving goals such as more contributors, higher-quality contributions, and so on.

                                                                              The theory supported by the evidence is that Linus’ style when doing what’s in the OP is unnecessarily rude and destructive. The evidence says he’ll loose a lot of talent since that talent just needs a worthwhile project to work on rather than his project. Just like he feels he doesn’t need them. Objectively, such a result is bad for the project if one wants it to improve. He might be willing to sacrifice features, QA, and so on for the personal enjoyment of those insults. That is what he’s doing. Anyone defending him shouldn’t pretend otherwise. Instead, they should shift to their actual argument of “I know we’re losing contributors that could’ve made the Linux kernel even better. The main reason is Linus’s personal preference. We think that’s a good status quo to maintain because…” That does look to be a harder position to defend, though, on either technical or moral grounds.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                Just to say, would be nice if you posted source of the research you’re referencing.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  I’m too much of an overloaded procrastinator to give it to you. I’d have to resurvey it as I bet the Web 1.0 sites are gone, new ones have formed, and I’ll have to dig through tons of noise. I do plan to either find or do another meta study on that in future since it’s so critical. For IT, I always told people to read the PeopleWare book and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Lots of managers hand out the latter believing it’s great advice. Implies they think blunt assholes are non-ideal. The No Asshole Rule book also cited a bunch of studies on effects of people being assholes downward or upward in an organizations recommending against it.

                                                                                  I do need to recollect the studies, though. Plus do a new bookmarking solution I’ve been procrastinating on since Firefox is full to point it constantly looses bookmarks lol.

                                                                        4. 8

                                                                          Linux would not be what it is today if they would be “merge-first-fix-later” type code-conducted safe place for noobs to mess around in.

                                                                          1. 16

                                                                            If you’re going to be derogatory, safe space is properly mocking.

                                                                            There is a near infinite gap between “let the noods do whatever they want to the codebase” and “don’t degrade people’s character because they submitted a PR you dislike”.

                                                                            I guess some people are just more tolerant of a project leader taking their anger and frustration out on people trying to get involved?

                                                                            1. 20

                                                                              The problem isn’t that he wouldn’t merge the person’s code. The problem is the unprofessional way that he treats other people. The fact that you think the problem is that he wouldn’t merge the code is either deeply concerning or purposefully avoiding the issue.

                                                                              1. 7

                                                                                If you actually read the damn thread, you see that Linus actually explained this pretty clearly: http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1711.2/01357.html

                                                                                The person decides to ignore Linus and Linus gets angry, I really don’t see a problem here.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  Ok, I read the full thread. It’s more reasonable in the other parts. Kees seems to have put some work into making it acceptable. Later on, I see someone do what Linus should’ve done in the first place in giving specific details about where he’s coming from in a way that wouldn’t have bothered me as a contributor:


                                                                                  After seeing that, I’m more annoyed by whoever was half-assing security contributions to the kernel so much that it will be hard for worthwhile contributions to get in.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    Yeah, same here - I think there are just special snowflakes who think that human psychology has anything to do with whether or not the kernel is going to continue running reliably for me, the kernel user. Guess what snowflakes, nobody cares about the feelings if the product doesn’t work.

                                                                                    Not to mention, this is only the squeaky wheel - Linus has been nice and professional and accommodating many, many times over. Many more times over, in fact. It just never makes the news ..

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                                                                                    I’m not used to navigating the CVE database, is there an easy way to restrict issues to just the Linux kernel?

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                                                                                  Nope. I think he’s great. And I’m very glad that he is stewarding the Linux project to this day. Whether you think its ‘nice’ or not, his management of the Linux kernel has produced superlative results - and sometimes, in the thick of the mob, you have to be an asshole to get people to work the way they need to work to continue producing quality results.

                                                                                  What I am sick of, is petulant snowflakes who think they know better than Linus how to manage the 1000’s of developers that want to have their fingers in the pie. The kernel doesn’t care about your feelings, and neither do 99.9999% of the kernels really important people: its users.

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                                                                                    Since when did asking to be treated with the bare minimum of basic human decency become a “special snowflake” thing? Nobody wants Linus to write “You’re so wonderful, and special, and beautiful, but I cannot accept this patch because, despite how wonderful and unique it and you are, it just won’t work with Linux’s performance requirements.”

                                                                                    NOBODY is asking for that. So I don’t get why I keep seeing “special snowflake” thrown around. I guess it’s just a strawman? (OH WAIT I GET IT NOW!)

                                                                                    Notice how your comment is verging on “nobody can critique the way Linus runs the project (that we all rely on in myriad ways)”. Aren’t snowflakes the ones who want to shut people down and stop discussion? Isn’t it the “snowflakes” that want to prevent people from having to hear mean things? (Like, stop taking your anger out on contributors because you’re not 7 anymore).

                                                                                    Doesn’t it kind of seem like–and bear with me here, I know it hurts–that you’ve become the special snowflake? Stifling discussion, needing a space where someone you look up to is immune to criticism, insulting people who are just trying to have a conversation?

                                                                                    Isn’t it your post that seems to be the petulant one here?

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                                                                                      Since when did asking to be treated with the bare minimum of basic human decency become a “special snowflake” thing?

                                                                                      Precisely at the point where well-established ground rules, respected by the rest of us, were continually broken with no regard for the work load incurred, nor the hassle of having to deal with all the noise. Or did you miss the part where known, functional, productive policies were repeatedly ignored in the rush to get this patch included in the next release?

                                                                                      Its one thing for a contributor to feel like they should be treated with respect as a special snowflake whose feelings are more important than the work, or in this case non-work, that they are contributing to the lives of others; its another thing to respect the very foundations of the activity from which one is attempting to derive that respect in ones own life.

                                                                                      Perhaps you missed the part where this could have been a disaster for the Linux kernel, and a lot of time was wasted having to deal with it, since the original developer decided to ignore the policies, well-since established as being necessary to the task of managing the Kernel patch integration process?

                                                                                      “nobody can critique the way Linus runs the project (that we all rely on in myriad ways)”

                                                                                      Well, whether you like it or not, its the truth: Linus has guided the way through decades of these kinds of events, and we have an extraordinarily powerful tool that has revolutionised computers as a result. Perhaps you ought to consider whether the quality of your own work and contributions might improve if you harden up a little and don’t take offence so easily. Time and again, this proves to be true - in the real world and in this fantasy land we’re currently sharing as participants in this thread.

                                                                                      The poster involved in this incident seems to have accepted that they were, in fact, violating a fundamental policy of the Linux kernel developer group, and has addressed the issue in a way that moves things forward - how, exactly, would Linux kernel development be pushed forward by your insistence at being treated like a snowflake?

                                                                                      A mistake was made - the policy was not followed - and Linus jumped on the guy. He’ll never do it again, many many others have also learned the importance of the check-in policy (Rule #1: Don’t Break The Kernel.) and he doesn’t seem at all worse for the wear, personally, as a consequence; its really only folks such as yourself who are getting so easily upset about this, because Linus somehow doesn’t conform to your particular cultural ideal.

                                                                                      Perhaps you haven’t been following Linux kernel development for long, or with much attention - there are many, many counter-cases of Linus having great relations with the developer group, which don’t seem to figure into your equation that “Linus is rude”. He’s precisely rude when he needs to be, and an awesome, polite, respectful individual, all the while. Please try to avail yourself of that truth before you continue ad-hoc insults and insinuations against random Internet strangers. It hurts my feelings to be challenged by an ignoramus.

                                                                                      Doesn’t it kind of seem like–and bear with me here, I know it hurts–that you’ve become the special snowflake?

                                                                                      Are you assuming that I wouldn’t want to be called a snowflake when appropriate? Because, I’m quite a snowflake, and often, when its appropriate or otherwise. Absolutely nothing with being called one, when you are one. Or, is there some other kind of kettle we should be boiling for tea?

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                                                                                    If a security vulnerability is introduced by design it’s still a bug. It just means the mistake was made at design time as opposed to implementation time.

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                                                                                      In all sincerity here, what would it mean for a person to say, “I’m not going to tolerate this behavior?”

                                                                                      Linus would still own the Linux trademark. He’d still control the mainline kernel repo. The “lieutenants” that manage various areas of the kernel would still control those areas and report to him. It seems very unlikely that they would support a coup. (Anyone who had a major problem with Linus’ behavior wouldn’t have lasted long enough to get one of the top positions.)

                                                                                      As a user, you can choose not to use or support Linux. But as a user, you don’t get to change the way the project runs.

                                                                                      I think the most extreme option you’d have would be to fork the source code and try to attract both a large developer community and a large user base on the basis of running a more inclusive community. But there’s a chicken-and-egg problem to that approach.

                                                                                      There’s an implicit hypothesis that says, “A more inclusive community will produce a better kernel.” Let’s assume that proves to be true. Some users would switch on that basis alone, but most will wait to see practical benefits. Since it would still take time for a fork to produce tangible benefits, you’d have to attract developers and users with the promise alone. We have a small set of cases to examine, where a major open source project was forked with the intention of creating a better community. It appears that the majority of users will hang back with a “wait and see” approach.

                                                                                      I really don’t know what kind of negative feedback anyone could apply to Linus that would have an effect.

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                                                                                        Working code doesn’t care about your feelings. Working code is completely orthogonal to human emotions. My computer runs whether I’m crying or not.

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                                                                                        This behaviour would violate the code of conduct of any sensible project.

                                                                                        Maybe you should run a kernel made by the CoC crowd. I’ll stick with the foul-mouthed guy.

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                                                                                          The only one I know off top of head is Redox OS since it used Rust CoC. It’s got potential but is alpha software. All the rest that are good seem to be made with different philosophies with a range of civility.

                                                                                          I am interested if anyone knows of another usable OS made with all activity enforced with a CoC a la Rust/Redox. At least the basic console or GUI apps so it’s usable for some day to day stuff.

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                                                                                              Good catch. This one…

                                                                                              “There can be no place within the FreeBSD Community for discriminatory speech or action. We do not believe anyone should be treated any differently based on who they are, where they are from, where their ancestors were from, what they look like, what gender they identify as, who they choose to sleep with, how old they are, their physical capabilities or what sort of religious beliefs they may hold. What matters is the contribution they are able to make to the project, and only that.”

                                                                                              …is where the politically-motivated try to find a lot of wiggle room for censorship as beliefs vary. One reason I collect these is so we can look back at data in commits or on forums to see what impact they have. Note I said OS that was made with the activity enforced this way. Some could have it added as an evolution of moderation policies well after it’s a successful project that was built on a different philosophy. How long has that CoC been in FreeBSD?

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                                                                                                How long has that CoC been in FreeBSD?

                                                                                                It’s relatively new - it was announced in July 2015. Even before the CoC was added a few developers were ejected for abusive behaviour (I’m not going to dig those out, but you can find references online).

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                                                                                                  Ok, so it’s not an example of an OS developed under the CoC. It was a highly-mature OS that probably started with really different kinds of people just because they were the norm for early days of BSD’s and Linux. With your comment, they were just using common sense of ejecting folks who were obviously abusive without anything more formal or constraining. That still leaves Redox as the only one I know that had the policy and supporters of it from the start.

                                                                                                  The main way I think this can be tested is with frameworks or libraries that are in same language and crowd. Basically, keep the situation as close as possible so about the only strong variable is community style. Should be easier with libraries or frameworks since they’re more accessible to new contributors. People are always doing more of those.

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                                                                                        Excellent to Average. Reason being that I work and am paid for 40 hours, almost like clockwork. But on Mondays and Thursdays my lunch breaks are longer, so I have to make that time up later, so I keep a sheet keeping track of that. So some days I work after 6 to make that time up. Haven’t worked on a weekend yet.

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                                                                                          Mercurial, made by another (in my opinion) much more well-spoken kernel hacker, is what really introduced me to the concept that you do not break interface for downstream users, no matter how wrongly you may think they are using the interface.

                                                                                          It’s an attitude that is difficult to convey because software developers always want to have the freedom to “improve” their own software, even at the possible cost of breaking something for some users (and worse, even telling users that they shouldn’t have been doing that in the first place).

                                                                                          I keep going back to this blog post which I wish more people agreed with (Steve Losh is another person influenced by Mercurial):


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                                                                                            Good write-up. And, yet, backward compatibility is the reason for most woes of IBM/COBOL and Wintel. Both improved their stacks a lot by creating incompatible additions. On IBM’s side, they added stuff from UNIX ecosystem. On Microsoft’s side, they broke the driver model and permission model after switching to managed code for lots of apps. The author you linked to could’ve written a similar piece on Vista as almost everyone did. Although they did botch execution of it, the key, painful changes that were polished up by Windows 7 were great for the long term in both reliability, security, and (.NET) maintainability getting off C++. Just the driver architecture and verifier alone eliminated most blue screens.

                                                                                            Note that what I described doesn’t mean changing things randomly and unnecessarily which cause a lot of what author describes. The companies doing high-availability software often create deltas in between that support old functionality/configurations and new ones. Optionally tools to convert between them manually or automatically. Then, the upgrade doesn’t have unplanned downtime or headaches. Minimal at least. We don’t see most proprietary or FOSS software doing that. Instead, it’s “Surprise! Your stuff is now broken!”

                                                                                            The other thing to address is the author writes as if developers owe the users something. There’s some moral imperative. There are FOSS developers out there who are fairly selfless in that they’re all about the experience of their users. Many aren’t, though.They might be working for corporations such as Red Hat or IBM contributing to Linux. They might be building something mainly for themselves or a small group of contributors that they share with the world. They might even be building a product with a somewhat-neglected, FOSS version with less features. In any case, most of the users will be freeloaders who the developers are not working for or value very little. If those people are having problems, the developers with such motivations should ignore them.

                                                                                            So, I’d ask whether the Skype developers were trying to create a fantastic experience for Steve Losh on his new box or were doing what their managers wanted for the product for whatever reasons the business had. I’m leaning toward the latter which reframes his gripe about them. Maybe similar with the others. They also maybe well-intentioned but sloppy as he says. Who knows. Just not as simple as all developers having a moral imperative to create a specific experience for specific or all users.

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                                                                                              “And, yet, backward compatibility is the reason for most woes of IBM/COBOL and Wintel.”

                                                                                              I’m no kernel expert, but I think what Linus means about no regressions/don’t change the interface is only referring to minor versions, major versions of the kernel are allowed to change the API?

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                                                                                                I’m no kernel expert, but I think what Linus means about no regressions/don’t change the interface is only referring to minor versions, major versions of the kernel are allowed to change the API?

                                                                                                No. The kernel’s public API is supposed to be backwards compatible even between major versions. From https://github.com/torvalds/linux/tree/master/Documentation/ABI :

                                                                                                Most interfaces (like syscalls) are expected to never change and always be available.

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                                                                                                  How did you get “Active user with invites disabled” on your profile?

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                                                                                                    How did you get “Active user with invites disabled” on your profile?

                                                                                                    By inviting each and every user that asked for an invite through the website form. This must have upset the gatekeepers who decided that since some of those were spammers (probably the self-promotion type) I need to have my inviting rights revoked.

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                                                                                                  Linus has made it clear that version numbers of the kernel mean nothing and are entirely arbitrary. In his last interview(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLQZzEvavGs&feature=share) He makes it VERY plain this is the case. He said basically that after the minor numbers get into the double digits he starts to lose track and bumps the major number. So we should hit 5.0 around next summer, but he made zero promises of this.

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                                                                                                    See this other thread. You need to click “Show 89 previous comments” because Google+ seems to be unable to link to specific comments.

                                                                                                    Alan Cox (a kernel hacker) writes “my 3.6rc kernel will still run a Rogue binary built in 1992. X is back compatible to apps far older than Linux.” and I would assume it still runs today.

                                                                                                    And below Alan is Linus ranting about Gnome breaking stuff all the time.

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                                                                                                      To add to what @stefantalpalaru said, actually in Linux version numbers mean not much. They’re added to distinguish between versions, and the major version number changes every time Linus thinks the minor version numbers are getting too big.

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                                                                                                        I was replying to the linked article.

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                                                                                                    With Arch I always have this itch in the back of my head which makes me uncomfortable using the OS.

                                                                                                    This confuses me. He doesn’t seem to go into detail about why this is the case but it seems silly that you can get “uncomfortable” from using an OS, especially one at least with the minimal information given sounds like does the job for him nicely.

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                                                                                                      I don’t find it silly. As far as code and software is regarded, I often get a “gut feeling” that tells me something is a bad hack / dirty / overly complicated / going to bite in the long run.. that feeling that tells there’s a better way, a cleaner way to do things. Surely that feeling follows from something concrete, but it can be hard to articulate the cause(s) without spending great effort thinking about it. And why spend that effort if you’re not trying to win a nerd fight on the internet and prove someone wrong?

                                                                                                      I also have a gut feeling that many other experienced developers experience similar gut feelings and follow them for good results. I can’t be sure.

                                                                                                      For what it’s worth, I also use (arch) linux on a couple machines right now. It does make me uncomfortable. I haven’t found a linux distro that doesn’t do that yet.

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                                                                                                        11 months late. Have you tried the CRUX distro? It’s the one distro I’ve been 100% comfortable with (minus compile times) https://crux.nu/